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Sanwo-Olu wades into spare parts dealers’ leadership crisis, gives election deadline

By News Desk

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed the interim leadership of the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association of Nigeria (ASPAMDA) to conduct elections in the next 90 days to bring an end to the infighting among members of the association.

He explained that the 90-day deadline decision had been reached as part of government measures to ensure the leadership crises that have bedeviled the market since 2018 were put behind the association and bring about unity among the members.

The governor, through a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said that had become imperative for the interim leadership of ASPAMDA to conduct elections and end its protracted leadership crises.

Giving insight into the leadership tussle, Sanwo-Olu noted that the crisis started in 2018 when the tenure of the last substantive leadership ended, and its efforts to extend its tenure led to judicial contestation and a high court in 2018 kicked out the former leader in a judgment that was affirmed by the Court of Appeal.

Despite the judgments, the governor said, the past leadership continued to hold sway and that the development led to bitter agitations that saw the state government received several petitions about the past leadership’s refusal to obey court orders and vacate office.

However, he said, the government, through the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, wrote the Inspector General of Police, requesting that Sunday Igboanuzuo and Emeka Chukwueloka be appointed Chairman and Secretary of the Caretaker Committee immediately.

Sanwo-Olu noted that upon their appointment, the mandate before the duo who assume the position on 20th July 2020 was to conduct elections to elect a credible leadership for ASPAMDA within 30 days, in accordance with the court judgment.

According to him, the Caretaker Committee did not conduct elections within the 30 days or even the 90 days specified by the ASPAMDA constitution.

“The State Government notes that the Caretaker Committee is rather bent on perpetuating itself in office without due process. The above scenario has bred wide division, bad blood, tension, and acrimony in ASPAMDA as a result of the self-perpetuation plan of the Caretaker Committee.

“On Saturday, August 7th 2021, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, summoned a meeting of all stakeholders of ASPAMDA at Lagos House Marina. After listening to all the stakeholders present, the Governor directed that:

i. the Caretaker Committee headed by Sunday Igboanuzuo with Emeka Chukwuloka as Secretary, should conduct election into ASPAMDA offices within 60 to 90 days; and

ii. that the Lagos State Government will provide security and other logistics that will enable the conduct of free and fair elections within this said period.

While the government will monitor developments to ensure this directive is carried out, it expresses the hope that this will end the protracted leadership crises in ASPAMDA and install an atmosphere of peace and harmony needed to maximise the business potential of ASPAMDA,” the statement said.

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